Sauber Formula 1 team principal Frederic Vasseur has suggested that the team is planning to announce their 2018 driver line-up during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.
Toro Rosso, Williams and Sauber are the three remaining teams yet to confirm their full driver line-up for next season.
It is anticipated that current F2 champion and Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc will fill one of the seats as an F1 rookie next season. At present, he seems likely to pair incumbent Marcus Ericsson, who is tipped to remain at the team for a fourth consecutive season.
Vasseur stated that Sauber is aiming to have their pairing officially confirmed on the weekend of November 24-26 – the final race of the 2017 season in Abu Dhabi.
“We will do the announcement, I hope, in Abu Dhabi,” Vasseur stated. “For sure we’ll do it before Melbourne next year and that I won’t postpone it each week.
Leclerc drove for Sauber in FP1 ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The 19-year-old headed Sauber regular Ericsson on the timesheet. It was his fourth free practice outing for the team this season.
“I think Charles is doing a good job,” Vasseur added. “The situation in FP1 is not an easy one because the first target is to avoid crashing and by the way that he’s consistent and he always shows a strong pace and he’s doing a good job.”